A sustained recovery for housing still faces an uphill climb, says Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies in its annual report released yesterday. To compare Harvard’s analysis with a variety of others, check out my forthcoming newsletter Friday afternoon.
“Although there are some signs of improvement or at least steadiness in new construction and sales, housing starts stand near 60-plus year lows, and any life in home sales is coming from distressed foreclosure sales, temporary first-time buyer tax credits and low interest rates that moved higher in recent weeks.” notes Center Director Nicolas P. Retsinas. Adds Executive Director Eric S. Belsky: “The best that can be said of the market is that house price corrections and steep cuts in housing production are creating the conditions that will lead to an eventual recovery. For now, markets remain under considerable stress.”
Meanwhile, the number and share of households spending more than half their incomes on housing continues to remain at elevated levels. Continue reading